Friday, October 29, 2010

I might need these.

Generally, come fall/winter I purchase a cheap pair of knit gloves and cut the fingers off to wear at work so that I can have warm hands and keep typing.

(Yes, I do tend to look a little hobo-ish.)

So maybe this year I'll splurge (I'm not kidding when I say cheap gloves. think $1.) and purchase these lovely things.

image via elde

Such a cheery, warm color. They might just be perfect for me.
If you like them too, or want to see her other offerings, you can find them on etsy in this shop full of beautiful hand knitted goodness.

Now I'm off to the beginning of a fun, crazy & very full weekend! Fall festival at the girls' school!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things Big Sister says:

Big seems to have gotten a little confused.

Recently she started singing Kumbaya.
Only her verses included:

"Someone's crying at my Lord, Kumbaya. . ."

And my favorite:

"Someone's laughing at my Lord, Kumbaya . . ."

Perhaps we need to enunciate more when we sing?
(not that this is a regular song at our house. . . .more of a stressed out joke.)

xoxo Lori Danelle

*** Big started singing again this evening and it looks like I forgot a really good one:

"Someone's being mean to my Lord, Kumbaya. . ."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I may do a lot of things well, but. . .

I think I'm a fairly talented & smart individual.
There's little that I face with absolutely no confidence of finding a way to make it happen. (Yes, it rarely is a straight-shot, but I generally muddle through & find a way to make it work)

And the blog-world, of course fosters that illusion of perfection in a person. (Although I doubt many of you are thinking that of me!) When was the last time you took a picture of your messy kitchen and posted it on the internet for all the world to see? The DIY project that completely bombed?

So, I'll share this with you:

I have good intentions, honest. I even fully agree with the importance of a budget and all that stuff. 
But I cannot seem to get those stupid things entered into my husband's handy-dandy, very official, budget tracking system. 

I think I like to pretend that if the receipt disappears, then it's like we never spent the money. . .
I'm confident that my husband would love hearing that I said that. 
Actually, he probably already suspects me of it.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let the Fall Festivites Begin!

I don't know when it happened. . .
Strike that.
I know exactly when it happened.
When I became a Mom with kids old enough to know what was going on around them (ie, 1 year old).

I don't know about you, but October has become an insanely crazy month in my life!
Busier than December!!
I didn't think that was possible.

We are so busy with Fall/Halloween parties and events that we've already opted to not go to 4 very fun events. (Don't tell the girls. They're still just young enough not to know!)

This weekend was the first of it though. One of Big's friends from school had a party at her house complete with a bounce house, so how could we possibly say no??

Big did her 5 minutes of mandatory shyness & then jumped right in with complete gusto. And then Little, of course, did what ever her big sister did.

The bounce house had a big slide in it which took Little a bit to master. The other older kids were funny. There tended to be a traffic jam behind her as one of them tried to coach her up with the others did their best to get around them both.  But they traded roles so it was never just one of them being impatient.  :)

This next week & weekend are full to the brim with festivities!
Hope you're having as much fun as we are!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Monday, October 25, 2010

I said I couldn't do it.

I realize that if you read the post I did over at Ashley Ann's you'll find this a little shocking.


Big's hair is down to her waistline. I LOVE her long hair. If I'm honest, I'm proud of her long hair. How many 3 1/2 year old's have never had a real haircut? Besides that, it kind of feels like if we've waited this long, what makes this the time to cut it?
Plus, and this is a big one for me, If we cut it, it will take off all her really light, baby blond hair.
That makes me sad.
Especially because I'm not one to keep a wad of dead hair around. ( I think it's kind of gross. . .sorry.)
So once it's gone, it's gone.


But I guess I finally faced reality, acknowledged that the daily crusade I undertake just to get Big's hair brushed & if I'm not too worn out by that point, in pigtails, was probably just a tad ridiculous and unnecessary.

OK, it was a lot ridiculous.

Picture this:
I come into the room holding a brush & bottle of detangler.
Big starts crying and running.
I chase after her, finally pinning her in a corner in various parts of the house.
I then drag her, kicking & screaming to the couch where I literally wrap my legs around her waist and proceed to brush out her hair, while she continues to cry & make every attempt to wiggle free.

So, needless to say, I think you see where this is going.


We cut Big's hair.

All of it.


And, I think she likes it.


Well, I think she loves it.
And actually, so do I.
A lot.  :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BlissDom 2011

Have you heard of BlissDom?
Have you attended?
Are you attending?

BlissDom is a blogging conference held in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel — which, by the way, has been closed since the historic May 2010 flooding we had and is scheduled to reopen November 15th. 

I purchased my tickets this week & I'm just a little bit excited!
I learned about the conference last year when Lisa Leonard did a blog post about the conference while at the conference.

Funny thing: She was writing less than a mile away from where I was reading the post.

So, since I literally drive past the Opryland Hotel where it is being held, it sort of made sense that I attend this year. Well, that and I have a blog and would like to meet other bloggers — and hopefully people I "know" but have never met in person.

Which makes me curious. . .Will you be there??

xoxo Lori Danelle

My new favorite sweater

source anthropologie
Picked up this sweater from Anthropologie this weekend. . .and it was on SALE!!!!

It is definitely in danger of becoming my most over-worn item of clothing this Fall & Winter.  :)

You can still get it online, but I think the yellow version is the only one with most of the size options.
I do love the yellow. . .can I get two of the same sweater?

xoxo Lori Danelle

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I want to wear my PJs too

The girls got to wear their pajamas to school today . . . .

image from

I think pajama day should definitely be implemented into the work week.
I would take part.

(and no, not lingerie.  
There is a difference.)

Oh, and for those of you who've been around for awhile, please note that I've improved over last year.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

{DIY} Tree Stump Drawers

So you're just a tad curious how those tree stump drawers were made?
Well you're in luck, because I'm going to show you!

However, first a disclaimer.  :)
I didn't make this, my Dad did, so I'll be walking through it on a finished piece, not one in progress. Plus, I can give you a pretty close idea of how it was done, but I might not tell you the exact size of drill bit and saw blade etc.
However, if you're feeling up to giving something like this a try, I'm going to bet you know your way around power tools enough to make a good guess at what's going to work for you!

To make this you will need:

A aesthetically pleasing tree stump
(mine is 17" tall & about 7" in diameter for reference)
Drill & itty-bitty drill bit
Band Saw (or possibly a Scroll Saw, depending on the size of your stump)
Wood Glue


To start, decide which side is the front.
Then, cut off the back portion, the full length of the stump


Next, decide how many, how big and where you would like your drawers. With a pencil, draw yourself guidelines (that you will cut in just a moment)

Once you've figured out the placement of all the drawers, using as small of a drill bit as you can that will still allow a saw blade to be inserted, drill a hole into the bottom center of each drawer.

Then, using a Band or Skill saw, insert the saw blade into the drill hole, re-attach the blade to the saw and carefully cut out each drawer, using your pencil marks as your guide.


In the case of my set of drawers, you will now have 4 squares of wood.

Now, on each block, cut off the front portion and the back portion of each "drawer".


You now need to hollow out your drawer.
To do this, draw a "U" shaped guideline, leaving enough width so that the drawer isn't weak, and then cut out the center, by following the guideline with your band/skill saw.


Glue everything back together!
Put the fronts & backs back on your hollowed out "drawer".
Glue the back of the stump back onto the front of the stump.
Carefully, clamp everything in place, using rags & wood blocks, so as not to damage any of the surfaces.

If the drawers don't happen to have little twigs sticking out of their fronts, (only one of mine did to begin with) you can find other twigs, drill holes in the drawer fronts and glue the twigs in place to serve as knobs. 

Once completely dry, your finished.


Sneaky, and quite beautiful!

(if anyone tries this, you HAVE to send me pictures!!!)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trip to the Zoo

One of my favorite things about going home (not in December when it's cold) is the Wichita Zoo.
You might not expect it, but they have an AMAZING zoo!! The environments for the animals are really beautiful and they've set it all up so that you can get really close to them.


Yup. Just a nice thick piece of glass standing between Little and some big lion teeth.

And if the glass still doesn't make you feel safe, you can always take your picture with one of the animal statues placed all around the zoo. The girls sort of like those.  :)





Big was most excited to see the penguins. I don't think she was disappointed.
She was absolutely enamored with them.



She and I have actually seen the penguin exhibit one other time.
Only she had just turned 1, so I don't think she really remembers the visit.

However, her response was pretty similar.


Little enjoyed them as well.



If you ever find yourself in Wichita, KS for any reason, make sure you find a way to visit the zoo. You won't be sorry. . . .Unless you live in San Diego or some place like that I suppose. . .   :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.   Blogging        has changed just about everything for me. I have a new outlook on things, gained new inspiration, new opportunities, new friends, and most importantly, taught me to celebrate the ordinary and mundane in my daily life   .

2.  A current fashion trend I wish I was brave enough to wear is   ruffles. I know silly right? I LOVE them, but whenever a put ruffles on, I feel really silly & a bit clown-ish. So I own nothing with ruffles.   .

3.  My greatest accomplishment in life thus far is        being a mom to my two little girls. And since, though true, that sounds a bit generic, I'll also say that the thing I'm currently most proud of is being lucky enough to have come up with a unique idea in this very creative world.    .

4.  If I had to choose between a mountain or a beach vacation I'd choose    ___I like the idea of a beach, but come down to it, I'd enjoy the mountain much more. I'd get bored rather quickly at the beach   .

5.  A talent I wish I had is      be able to style me hair. . .and the time to do it .

6.  A talent I do have is        making pretty things. All sorts and varieties of pretty things    .

7.  This week       I have not been able to stop coughing!!! Time to see the doctor perhaps?      

 Link up @ the little things we do

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The bigger picture

First off, if you're visiting from Ashely Ann's blog,  


So glad you've stopped by!

If you're not and you haven't been over there yet, head on over, cuz otherwise, this might not make as much sense as it should.   :)

I shared a few pictures today at Ashley's in which I thought you might like to see the bigger picture.
—yes, this time "bigger picture" is being used literally. Hope you weren't expecting some motivational post about life, difficult times and the future!  :)

I had tried to capture the items that I showed in a unique way or to focus on the details of everyday objects. However, that might have left a few people scratching their heads on what the object actually was or looked like.

So, here you are:
 There's nothing "special" about it. 
But I love it just the same.  :)
In case you were curious about my favorite books, I have to admit to reading and re-reading Tolkien's Lord of the Rings very regularly. I first read them in high school and have been hooked since then. In fact, in college, I took a class title "The Mythology of Middle Earth". 
Granted, I went to an art school and we could do things like that, but still—I had to read some of my favorite books for school, that I probably would have read anyway. 
Tough, eh?

Then there's Harry Potter. 
I am literally sad when I finish reading the series because I feel like I've said goodbye to some of my best friends. (should I admit that?)

I will tell you that I was very stubborn in my resolve to not like Harry Potter. I didn't want to be one of those people who liked something just because it was trendy.

Then in the summer of 2005 I did an internship in the San Francisco area and found myself hanging out at book stores quite often. That was the same summer that book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was coming out. Thus, bookstores and anyplace else where it was remotely relevant were covered in anything and everything Harry Potter related. 

Finally, I could hold out no longer. 
I picked up the first book, found a comfy chair and decided to see what all this Potter madness was about.

I didn't leave until I finished the book.

Instant addict. 

I immediately purchased all the released books in the series and headed home to do some serious catching up.

If you haven't read them, I really suggest giving them a try. They are REALLY well-written books. Not just entertaining books (although they are that as well).

Finally, we come to my all-time favorite. 
Or should I say favourite?

ANYTHING by Jane Austen. 
Particularly Pride & Prejudice. 
Can anyone say Mr. Darcy????

If I have to explain this one, then you clearly have never read any of her work. 
However, I will leave you with this:

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than women, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you, never inconstant." ( Persuasion, chapter 23)

Um, . . .swoon!!
Last but not least!
My Dad made this for me years ago and I still LOVE it.
Isn't he good??

For those of you who are very curious and a bit handy with woodworking tools, I'll be letting you in on the secret of how it was made very soon.

How's that for a bit of enticement?

Well, I hope you enjoyed these and again, if you haven't read the post at Ashley Ann's do so to see the rest of the items and the original pictures of these 3!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Guest blogging

So, you remember when I told you about Ashley Ann's blog and how she's doing a series with guest bloggers and that you might see some people you know????

Well, there's a pretty good chance you might recognize today's blogger!

 ME!!!  :)
(it's OK, I was pretty surprised too when she asked me. . .Haha)

So head on over there and check out what amazingly witty and brilliant things I have to say.
You know, just case you don't get enough of that here.

Oh, and can I just mention, not much can make a gal more self-conscious than taking pictures for a professional photographer's blog.
Just saying.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back home for the Air Show

On our first full day in Kansas we decided to spend the morning by heading out to watch the Thunderbirds at the somewhat-annual Air Show at McConnell Air Force Base. Wichita is, after all, the Air Capital of the World, so you just have to do these things, right?

Besides, jets going fast.
That's fun.

But the day started out cold.
And cloudy.
The week prior, it was 95+ degrees back home.
We were not prepared.

So we ran out, bought sweatshirts for the girls & borrowed for the rest of us.
And then we sat and waited.


They were originally supposed to fly around 10:30.
However, with all the clouds, you wouldn't be able to actually see them do anything as they would spend a lot of time in or above them.
So they moved it back to noon.  (See, in Kansas, there's this saying: "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes.")


Noon rolled around, and though we did see some interesting retired World War II planes and even a bi-plane with a sky walker in which Big Sis declared, "That's not a good idea!"
But we did not see any jets.


We soon learned that it was still a little more cloudy than they would like and that they would fly at 2:30.
Geez! Don't they know we have kids?
Who just spent an incredibly tiring day on a plane and in a car the day before??
And now they've not had a nap!!

But we were committed.
We stayed.


2:30 rolls around. . .  and passes.
Still no jets.

By this time the parents (me) are getting antsy.
Nate & I are fearing a melt-down of epic proportions is steadily approaching the longer we hold off nap-time, but we've already waited this long. . .and we'd hate it if we left and then 5 minutes later they flew. . . So we gave them until 3 & then we were definitely, positively leaving.
No matter what.


3 came.
The girls were still in good spirits.
So we tempted fate and stayed.

And engaged in the longest session of Ring Around the Rosies that anyone has possibly ever witnessed as it kept the girls from whining and we had heard through the grape vine that the ThunderBirds were definitely flying at 3:30.



We might have bothered a few of our blanket neighbors, though there were a few glances from little girls wishing they could take part ( I did invite them). Regardless, we had success!

At about 3:30, we heard the engines reving up and the girls were still smiling.


They were a bit louder than the girls' appreciated.
But soon-to-be-Aunt Joni's heart melted as Little lunged out of my arms into hers.






I don't know. But we had fun.   :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

I hope you enjoy reading these, because for some reason, I love them.  I'm one of those dorks who actually enjoys filling out surveys. We need people like me, right? 
Anyway. . .  Here we go.
1.   The first thing I do in the morning to start my day is       after hitting my snooze button a couple of times, I immediately get dressed and start getting breakfast ready so the girls can come straight down & eat. . . or eat it in the car ;)  .

2.  Today I wish I was   asleep, or working at home (long to do list as always and stayed up too late trying to shorten it), or free from said to do list & out shopping with my best friend whom I have not seen in AGES  .

3.  If I had an extra $100 in my bank account today I'd       Go shopping for some new fall boots. . .or fall clothes in general. Part of the fun of shopping is the hunt and not knowing what you'll come home with, right?    .

4.  Tomorrow    I will spend time with the family, perhaps enjoy a bit of the Octoberfest going on. I think the pumpkin patch has come up as a possibility as well. Guess I'm pretty open   .

5.  Two things that don't go together are     curly hair and rain.  Can you say frizz city?  The bane of my existence.... .

6.  Something I can never pass up at the grocery store is    a diet coke. I ALWAYS grab one on my way in & pay for the empty bottle. the gas pump holds the same issue. I told the girls we needed to stop & get gas on the way home yesterday. From the backseat I heard "and a soda, too?"  I might have a problem.

7.  The last time I tried something new was        Hmm. . .apparently not recently enough, because I can't think of anything. I'll have to remedy that soon! Sorry.     .
Join in, or read others here
Oh! And if you haven't been by yet, definitely check out Ashley Ann's blog right now. She's doing a series of 10 in 10 (while she's away vacationing in a very sunny place!!!) with amazing guest bloggers and  eye candy.  You may see some old faces and you may find a few new must reads!
Hope you have a great weekend!!!
xoxo Lori Danelle 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A movie worth writing about

So who knows what movie came out on DVD this week that I am COMPLETELY geeking out over?

That's right.
Disney's Beauty & the Beast.
We bought it for the girls.

Anyone really believe that?
I didn't think so.

We bought it for the girls so that I could have an excuse to watch it.

Somehow, I missed it the last time it was on DVD and only have a VHS version. . . and no VHS player.  So I've been anxiously awaiting it's return. . .along with all the others from that generation of Disney movies.

Somehow, I just don't think that part of me ever quite grew up. . . Nor do I want it to.  :)

Oh, and yes, the girls are enjoying it as well, although they do keep telling me to stop singing.

xoxo Lori Danelle

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

{Paper Cut} A family portrait

The week before I headed out to Kansas, I was able to finish up and send off this amazing group of paper cuts.


I had the honor of cutting out the entire family's prints! They are going to look amazing once they are framed and hung all together.

I've been told that a picture will be sent my way once they figure out how they're going to go about it. To be honest, I'm very excited to see what happens with a piece of work after it leaves my hands and enters into the creativity of someone else!

That's all part of the fun, right?  :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

{if interested in purchasing paper cuttings for your own family
you can find more information here or at my etsy shop

Guess who I finally met!

Just noticed this photo up on one of my favorite blogs, so I might as well share too!

Guess who I finally got to meet in person?

She lives in my home town.

Her house is just around the corner from the house I spent my first few years in (and used to be a daycare, complete with giant fish tanks that you could see through the wall of windows when you drove by).

She attends the church I grew up in and my parent's still attend.

And yet somehow it wasn't until this past Saturday that I actually met Meg from Whatever fame face-to-face!! A very shy Little Sister and I dropped off some vitamins for her to send to Africa — and then stayed to chat for a bit.  :)

If by some chance you have not yet been over to her blog yet, GO.
You can thank me later.   :)

And if you're stopping by from Meg's, WELCOME!!! I'm so glad you're here.

xoxo Lori Danelle


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